Dessert wines are sweet wines that are typically served with or after a meal, as the name suggests, as a dessert. They are typically higher in sugar and alcohol content than table wines.
The grapes can be made from a wide variety of grape varieties, depending on the region and style. Some popular grape varieties for dessert wines include Riesling, Sémillon, Moscato, and Gewürztraminer for white wines and late-harvest versions of red grape varieties such as Pinot Noir and Zinfandel can also be used to make dessert wines. These grapes are left to ripen on the vine for a longer period of time, which increases their sugar content and produces sweeter wines with higher alcohol levels. They can have a rich, fruity and jammy taste with notes of blackberry, raspberry, and dark cherry.
Dessert wines are typically made by leaving the grapes on the vine longer than usual, to allow them to become overripe and develop a higher sugar content. The grapes are then harvested and fermented, which produces a sweeter wine. Some dessert wines can also be made by freezing the grapes before pressing them to concentrate the sugar, or by adding sugar to the wine during fermentation.
Dessert wines can have a wide range of flavors and aromas, depending on the grape variety and winemaking methods used. Some common flavors include honey, apricot, peach, and citrus. They can also have a high acidity to balance the sweetness.
Dessert wines are typically paired with sweet desserts such as fruit tarts, cakes, and chocolate. They can also be paired with cheese or nuts as well.
Dessert wines have been around for centuries, but they are not as widely consumed as table wines. However, they are becoming more popular as a way to end a meal on a sweet note.